Biological Safety

Research and class work involving biological materials typically involves agent specific strategies designed to manage the agent and agent associated risks. Researchers are often guided by pressures from funding sources, standards of practice, guidelines and their own knowledge base with no specific regulatory or authoritative doctrine to govern practice. To complicate matters, biological research often involves the use of chemicals, radiological materials, lasers, animal model systems and physical hazards which must also be managed safely. There exists a need to position each individual scope of work within an overarching operational framework that is capable of anticipating, evaluating and managing the various aspects of the work being performed. For biosafety in particular, this means developing internal policies coupled to effective working policies that are aimed at managing work associated risks efficiently. This also means developing a comprehensive understanding of each process, the inherent hazards, identifying roles and responsibilities, use of appropriate controls, training, surveillance, monitoring and following up on new material reviews and equipment or operational changes. These concepts serve as the basis for risk assessment and risk management and define our approach to Biological Safety at Binghamton University.

Biosafety Program Goals

  • Assure a safe environment exists for conducting biological research
  • Safeguard the health of members of the University community against exposure to biological agents or other materials used here
  • Prevent environmental damage from biological agents used, transferred or disposed of by the University
  • Provide guidance and implement systems for biosafety controls
  • Provide required biosafety training designed to supplement lab specific or task specific training
  • Ensure compliance with applicable federal, state and local guidelines.

Institutional Biosafety Committee

The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) oversees all University biological research and ensures that the highest level of safety and scientific integrity is being maintained at all times. PI's wishing to work with biological materials must comply with the IBC Policy by submitting a protocol through PACS. More information about the IBC and PACS can be found on Research Compliance's Institutional Biosafety webpage.

Reporting a Problem

Who to Contact

For immediate police, fire, environmental or medical response, dial UPD at 911 from campus phone or 607-777-2222 from a cell phone

For general inquiries or non-emergency instances, contact the Biosafety Officer, Kelly Donovan, at 7-6834 or

Accident Reporting

Illnesses and injuries must be reported to University officials through the illness/injury reporting form. The supervisor of an injured employee, the department head, or a designated individual within the department must complete all sections of this form within 24 hours after the injury is first reported. It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator or laboratory supervisor to ensure all accidents and injuries are reported to University officials through the use of the Binghamton University injury reporting system.